You Really Should Have Two Trains:
Everybody knows that Walt was a train nut. He had two (2), trains custom built for Disneyland and both were operating on opening day in 1955 (today there are normally three trains operating on the tracks at any point in time during the day). Walt preferred the EP Ripley but he also loved his other train, the C.K. Holiday. There is a tremendous amount of history around these two famous trains, not just the EP Ripley. Disney worked in cooperation with Carolwood’s Michael Broggie to produce the N-Gauge EP Ripley for the Main Street Platform and they plan to produce a C.K. Holliday soon, but no production date has been set.
Borggie and the Disney company did a great job with the Ripley Locomotive but the Yellow rolling stock is not as recognizable as a Disneyland Train (unless you remember being in the park in the 1950’s – which I don’t). Michael explained that they needed to use existing N-Gauge train tooling to keep costs low and that’s why they didn’t produce rolling stock that looks like a current Disneyland Train. Maybe someday we can convince Michael to collaborate with Olszewski’s production staff and spend a few extra $$$ to build a more recent and recognizable set of rolling stock for us. In the meantime we have to build our own.
Bruce's C.K. Holiday
Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to build your own C.K. Holiday and Holiday Train as shown in the photo above. I started with these N-Gauge pieces and converted them to Disneyland form with about the same effort as was required to install the Train Track – five days or so.
Here's the basics of what you do. The Loco and Caboose are easy - they're just painting jobs. The Cars are tougher. Start with a 36' Passenger Car like this one. The smaller car scales better on the Platform. Carefully pop off the tops, remove the clear plastic insert, cut out the windows and the doorway with a Dremel, make seats out of balsa and construction paper, glue them in, paint the interior, glue in the people (it's really hard to do this later - believe me), epoxy on the top, add the railings using thin copper rods, paint the exterior, and add the decals. Piece of cake.
Speaking of Decals, here is the artwork I used. It's a composition of a bunch of photographs I took of the C.K. Holiday and NEW EP Ripley photos. If you copy the enlarged version of this photo to your disc and then print it at 4x6" borderless on this special decal paper then you'll have roughly the right size. You might need to make a few sizing tweaks to get the size right based on your printer, but it will be close.
Alternatively, you can buy a Bachmann Prairie Flyer, repaint the locomotive to look like the C.K. Holiday (or not), and then apply the artwork and you still have a decent second train. Either way, two trains are the way to go for the platform.
Two Train Platform Modifications:
Now that you have two trains you need to get them to coexist on the same track. Unfortunately, any two trains (especially Bachmann’s) operating on exactly the same voltage will operate at significantly different speeds. So, if you just put two trains on the same track one will eventually catch up with the other and they’ll crash into each other. To keep them from colliding you need to implement some form of speed/distance control on the track. Be sure to look into the "Two Train Operation" section to see how to make these modifications and to see the video of the C.K. Holiday in action on the platform.